#DFFStories - Body Building with Miranda, 2016 UK BFF Winner
“Most people think of bodybuilding as a sport for massive men. The truth is in the name itself – “body” and “building”. The sport is about building an aesthetically pleasing body, and anyone can do that!” - Miranda
Aesthetics is often the goal when people first begin their fitness journey, and there’s a sport dedicated to just that, Body Building. The DFF team hung out with Miranda, the 2016 UK BFF winner, pro body builder and blog author. In her interview she gives insights into her diet and training, as well as the lifestyle changes that have helped her achieve her goals. Think you have what it takes? Read on to find out more.
You can also keep up with Miranda’s Journey on her website inspiredbymiranda.com and on social meda @InspiredbyMiranda
Hi Miranda. Please tell the readers about yourself.
I have always been interested in sports since a very young age. From martial arts to basketball to dance, there was always something I was involved in. Currently, I work full-time in a media agency and run a fitness and lifestyle blog www.inspiredbymiranda.com
What got your started in bodybuilding? And how has living in Dubai supported or hampered it?
I have been going to the gym since the age of 12, along with playing a number of sports. So a couple of years ago I decided that I needed another challenge – something to test my fitness levels. I was living in London at the time of my decision to enter fitness modeling competitions. The industry is so big over there, it wasn't hard to connect with people in the know. Although the industry is not as big in Dubai, the bodybuilding and fitness modeling community is growing quickly. I was glad to find a great coach with loads of experience and to connect with a number girls in my gym who were also preparing to compete.
How do you train to maintain your body? Please provide an overview of your training program.
My training typically follows what is called a 5-day split in bodybuilding terms – that is training different body parts on different days. The split and workout routine change depending on how far off I am from a competition. During my maintenance phase I do weight training 5 times a week starting with hamstrings & glutes (legs), shoulders, back, quads (legs again) and arms. Sometimes this programme changes depending on the state of my body. For example, at the moment I train legs & glutes 3 times a week, with the remaining two days being dedicated to shoulders+triceps and back.
Closer to the competition a mix of steady and high intensity cardio is added to my training programme. First we start by adding 20 mins of steady cardio (e.g. Stair master) 4 times a week post workout. Then, in the last few weeks we add an extra training day for interval sprinting (again about 15-20 minutes). In addition to the added cardio an extra day of weight training is also added to my programme, meaning I would exercise everyday of the week in the last 3 weeks. The extra day of weight training would actually be a fasted strongman circuit involving exercises such as battle ropes and weighted sled runs.
What are your current competition plans?
My next competition is at the end of September and I am very excited, as it will be the Arnold Classic Europe – one of the biggest fitness events in the West.
What kind of diet are you currently on? Exactly how does this diet work for you?
At the moment I am still on a maintenance diet, which means my calorie intake is fairly high and includes quite a bit of carbs. I have 6 meals a day plus a protein shake post workout. Most of my meals consist of 100-120 grams of protein (fish, chicken, beef, eggs) and a mix of vegetables. Two days of the week are high carb days – that’s when I have rice and sweet potatoes in the two meals after my workout and oats with protein powder at bedtime. My trainer and I try to avoid gluten and dairy as these cause inflammation, bloating and water retention, especially as we get closer to the competition date. There are basically two key things to my diet which help me stay in shape: 1. It is high in protein which is needed to build lean muscle mass and burn fat; 2. My carb intake is timed around my workout as that is when the body will burn the carbs instead of storing them as fat.
Do you use supplements? If so, what do you use, and why do you use these?
I always take a protein shake post workout because it provides fast-release protein with a bit of sugar to help start the repairing process immediately after a workout. I also drink amino acids (the building blocks of muscle) during workout to minimize muscle breakdown. Apart from these I take a number of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fish oil. These are necessary as most people in this day and age are deficient due to the poor quality of our food and also because I lose a lot of minerals and vitamins through sweat during my workouts, so these supplements help my body recover.
What has been the highlight of your bodybuilding experience so far?
The highlight was winning my first bikini-fitness competition in the UK in April this year which qualified me for international pro & amateur competitions.
As I understand, bodybuilding has so many categories, can you tell us a bit about that and why you compete in your category?
Most people think of bodybuilding as a sport for massive men. The truth is in the name itself – “body” and “building”. The sport is about building an aesthetically pleasing body, and anyone can do that! As the sport grew and more and more people got interested, bodybuilding federations around the globe started adding new categories such as: men’s physique, women’s bikini, women’s figure and men’s fitness. These categories allow for people who are fit and lean, but do not have a huge muscle mass. You can find out more on:
What are your goals, both long term and short?
My goals are to remain fit and healthy for the rest of my life. I am always on the lookout for the latest news and research in terms of health, mental wellbeing, nutrition and exercise. I hope to grow my blog into a successful platform which enables others like me seeking to stay fit and healthy.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career as a fitness model?
The fitness industry is very competitive – anyone can enter, but not everyone can build a successful career! Connect with the right people and stay true to yourself. People are always interested in someone’s character and personal journey to success, so that should help you stand out from the crowd.